Advice needed on OA in the hips and swimming

AlanWatson1958 Member Posts: 15
edited 25. Jul 2013, 15:51 in Living with Arthritis archive

I am a slim and fit 54 year-old man; a non-smoker with a good diet. Even so I have high cholesterol, blood pressure and homocysteine and an obscure heart problem. A year ago my cardiologist told me that I also have pre-diabetes, that I need to avoid it turning into the full thing, and that more exercise was the main way to do this. Since then I have been controlling my diet, jogging, hill-walking and swimming with a vengeance (and I still have pre-diabetes).

About a month ago, I went to see an orthopaedic specialist with some pains in my back and hips. In quick succession I have been diagnosed with mild scoliosis (curved spine), height loss (-3cm), osteopaenia (BMD in worst 2% of men of my age), fairly serious OA in both hips and very serious spinal stenosis (bone, disk and ligament pressing on my spinal cord).

The orthopaedic specialist strongly advised against any hill climbing or jogging and I see that the exercise advice here is to avoid breaststroke.

I really need the exercise as diabetes will make everything worse, and tried a session of front and back crawl in the pool today. My fear was that I wouldn't be able to get the breathing right - I haven't been able to for the past 54 years. On top of this what struck me most was that my hips hurt quite a bit doing front and back crawl, but mostly feel fine doing breaststroke.

Today was only one session, and I will try again, but I would be very grateful for other people's advice. Should I keep up crawl even if it continues to hurt? Should I carry on with the breaststroke while it feels comfortable? Or if crawl hurts, will I need to abandon swimming as a form of exercise altogether?

Thanks in advance.



  • frogmella
    frogmella Member Posts: 1,115
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I am not a doctor (as I am sure most replies to this will say!) but I have had years of spinal problems. I know that all the physios and surgeons I have seen have advised me not to swim breaststroke. I don't have dodgy hips though so I don't really know if you should carry on if it hurts. A couple of my physios told me that so long as the pain stops when I stop the action that hurts it should be OK to keep going but I don't know if that would apply to you. Is there any chance you could get in with a physio for a session. Maybe you could do with some strengthening exercises before you hit the crawl? The hip pain could be coming from your spine rather than from the actual hip. I used to have a lot of hip pain.

    I don't know if that will have helped?

    Are you getting any treatment for the spine stuff? I had my second spinal fusion 21 weeks ago and it has worked a treat!
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Cor, you're a complex one, aren't you? I too think you need to seek some further advice about what is suitable exercise-wise for you and what should be avoided. It would appear that what is good for one condition could be adverse to another, it's a tricky one. Like frogmella I am not a doc, neither am I a physio or a cardiologist. I don't often advocate googling but I think it could be a useful resource for you at the moment. I wish I could help more. DD
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi is so annoying when you have different problems and different exercises are a no no for some of them.

    I have high blood pressure. All I get about that is walking {that's a laugh :lol: } running, jogging :lol::lol::lol:

    I have arthritis in both hips and have had one replaced and have been told def not to do the breast stroke.
    Also have kypho scoliosis.
    I have osteopenia and swimming which is advised for arthritis .... that's no good for strengthening your bones....HELP!!! where do we go from here :lol:

    I'm joining a Zumba class but it is seated Zumba....see how that goes.
    We had 2 girls come to our Arthritis Care Branch Meeting one night and they did 30 mins of it with us and then said if enough were interested they would set up a class for us {if we could find a venue} well we did and they have.....Starts Monday 5th but I'm on holiday so my first one will be the following Monday.

  • kentishlady
    kentishlady Member Posts: 807
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Alan. I can reiterate what most of the others have said about swimming. I have been told by 2 different physiotherapists on no account should I do breaststroke (I have OA in my back, one knee and one shoulder). Prior to seeing the physios and before I had the OA in my back diagnosed, my dr kept telling me to go swimming as it was good exercise for my back -which have always had a lot of problems with. I kept telling her it hurt my back and it was not until I saw the physios that I found out why.

    Think a visit to see a physio might be a very good idea. I hope you can get some advice.


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